76 / 16 / 42 Field Regiments R.A.: [B.A.O.R. 1947]

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Charley Fortnum, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I'm coming up against conflicting information here and hoped that somebody might be able to put an authoritative stamp on the truth.

    The following publication states that 76 Field Regt R.A. was renumbered as 42 Field Regt R.A. in April 1947 and was then composed of 68, 87 & 159 batteries.

    The British Army in Germany

    This other site (with links to former members), however, states that it was 16 Field Regt R.A. that was renumbered as 42 Field in April 1947 and 34, 27, 72 batteries became 68, 87 & 179 batteries.

    1939 to 1947

    This other site states the same:

    British Army units from 1945 on - 42nd Regiment RA

    (Although that information may have been sourced from the site above or vice-versa).

    To completely muddy the waters, my grandfather's service records seem to say:

    1) He was posted to 76 Field on 14/2/47.
    2) 76 Field was disbanded on 1/4/47.
    3) He was posted to 16 Field on 1/4/47
    4) 16 Field became 42 Field on 1/4/47.

    Surely if he was posted to 16 Field on April Fools' Day 1947 and that was the day on which it became 42 Field he was actually posted to 42 Field, not 16 Field?

    And does anybody have the truth about the battery compositions?
  2. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    Your grandfather’s record has confirmed that 16 Fd Regt merged with 76 Fd Regt

    Firstly 179 is correct, having the original 1947 Gunner magazine showing the 1 Apr 47 redesignations:

    16 Fd Regt with 27 – 34 – 72 batteries to 42 Fd Regt with 68 – 87 – 179 batteries

    Apr 46 – 76th (Highland) Field Regiment Royal Artillery was command 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division however detached to the School of Artillery BAOR in Munsterlager

    302 Battery – 303 Battery – 454 Battery

    Now see that 16 Fd Regt were in the far east with the "old" 2 Inf Div, however Kew documents should the change was from 76 to 42 on 1 Apr 47, to add these were confusing times as some units changed twice in 7 months!

    42nd Field Regiment Royal Artillery moved to Crookenden Barracks Kupfedreh south-east of Essen on 11 Apr 47, supporting 6th Infantry Brigade of the “new” 2nd Infantry Division

    21st Army Group later British Army of the Rhine
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles


    Thank you for a really helpful post--lots of snippets of information there.

    Have you had a look at the 16/76/42 Fd Regt Diaries at Kew? I was thinking of getting copies for the 1947-48 period, but they've been relegated to the end of my reading as so many of the post-45 diaries I have seen are skeletal in terms of content.

    I did also read in that first link that the 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division was technically redesignated as X Division', but it didn't 'stick' and the old name was more commonly heard.
  4. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day


    53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division was known as X Division from mid 46, converting a TA Division to a regular one however still referred to as 53 Inf Div up to 1 Apr 47 when it became the "new" 2 Inf Div, have a full set of Kew divisional documentation from May 45 to Mar 48 and have HQRA on order with Lee at ARCRE, it is just too much to order regimental war dairies as well, the corps/divisional war dairies/historical records have chunks missing especially at the end of 46, so picking up some detail from HQRA/Arty Bdes, if any more details turn up will let you know but will be while before getting to 2 Inf Div
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  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Perhaps my search-fu is weak, but I can't find any documentation at all for 42 Fd Regt 1946-49
    Could you possibly let me know the reference number for the 2 Inf Div HQRA if you have it, because Discovery is not co-operating.
  6. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    There are no HQRA files listed for the "new" 2 Inf Div and 42 Fd Regt RA only came into being 1 Apr 47

    I have G Branch up to Mar 48 as yet to publish as still working on 45/46

    From 5 Apr 46 to 1 Apr 47 76 Fd Regt RA was under command School of Artillery BAOR
    WO 267/572 Jul to Dec 46
    WO 267/573 1947
    Regimental Headquarters: Luftwaffe Camp Oerrel south-east of Munsterlager

    1 Apr 47 – redesignated 42nd Field Regiment RA
    11 Apr 47 – to HQRA 2nd Infantry Division
    Regimental Headquarters: Crookenden Barracks Kupfedreh south-east of Essen
    Sep 53 – to United Kingdom

    Hope this helps
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  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    It helps but doesn't help, if you take my meaning: I'm grateful for your confirming that I am unlikely to find what I'm looking for!

    (That is specifics on the activities of 42 Field From 1/4/47 to 4/4/48)
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  8. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    They did support 6 Inf Bde so you might find something here WO 267/212 and 213 covering the brigade Apr-Sep 47 and then comes a gap!
  9. aramsay

    aramsay Junior Member

    Just to add my tuppenceworth here....

    I have a collection of items to a Gunner who was first with 186th F.R., then transferred to 76th F.R. once 186 disbanded in November, 1945.

    Amongst the items is a Hilo paper, journal of 76th (Highland) Field Regt. The cover is a pencil drawing of 303 Btty. base at Schlangen, and clearly shows the sign of the 52nd (Lowland) Division on the entrance sign. The journal is dated March, 1946.

    I know for a fact that 186th F.R. were 52nd Div.
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